Family: Euphorbiaceae

Latin name: Croton lechleri

Vernacular name: Sangre de grado

Ethnobotany
The bright red resin from this tree is used to help close and heal wounds. It is drunk in teas to cure ulcers, tumors, internal ailments, for birth control, and for hemorrhages. It is a common ingredient in elixirs mixed with aguardiente. The resin appears to help skin heal and regenerate very quickly. It is exported from Peru, and has been the focus of international research.

Agroforestry
The seedlings are very delicate and frequently die or succumb to grasshoppers. Once the tree is established, it grows quickly, and can become a large tree. The canopy is broad but light, allowing sunlight to filter through it down to crops below. The tree requires fertile soil, and will not tolerate flooding. If properly spaced (at least 10 meters apart), it can be interplanted with many tree crops, especially smaller trees. The tree is highly coveted for its resin. It is common in some parts of the region (such as the Nanay), but entirely absent in others. In fields it is vulnerable to leaf-cutter ants, and often colonized by other species of ants. RCF has helped many families in the Tahuayo cultivate this species for the first time.

The light canopy of sangre de grado trees.

The light canopy of sangre de grado trees.

Farmer with his sangre de grado trees. Note where trunk has been bled.

Farmer with his sangre de grado trees. Note where trunk has been bled.

A farmer with his sangre de grado trees.

A farmer with his sangre de grado trees.

Bottled sangre de grado resin sold in pharmacies.

Bottled sangre de grado resin sold in pharmacies.

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